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Lion Cubs Tease Baby Brother

Watch as lion cubs playfully harass their weaker sibling on an airstrip. See how the protective mother steps in to keep the little one safe.

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All images by Michael Botes

A pride of lions decided to take a stroll along an airstrip, all seeming to be having a blast, showing off their playful and affectionate sides. However, the smallest cub is fed up with its older siblings who are having too much fun at its expense.

Michael Botes, an experienced guide at MalaMala Game Reserve, has been keeping an eye on these lion cubs since they were born. During this sighting, there were 4 lionesses and 9 cubs present. Overall, the pride looked super healthy and strong, except for the tiniest cub, who happens to be the runt of the litter.

On this day, two bigger cubs decide it’s the perfect day to relentlessly bother their smaller sibling. As the runt walks along, minding its own business, one cub pounces on its back and pulls it down. Now extremely annoyed, the runt bares its teeth and lets out the cutest little growl.

Showing it’s not in the mood for any teasing, the runt scampers to safety by its mother’s side. The runt was born smaller because, while in their mother’s womb, some babies have a weaker attachment to the placenta, leading to less nutrition and slower growth. The protective mother keeps an eye on the situation and steps in between the troublemakers when the little one gets upset.

Despite mom’s best efforts, she can’t watch her cubs every second. As soon as she’s distracted by something ahead, the two menaces continue to tease, trip, and bite the runt’s tail. Cubs in the wild need to learn to fight when they’re young because it’s a crucial lesson in social behaviour. Only the strongest survive!

The grumpy little runt still has some fight left in it. Despite all odds, guide Michael Botes has reported that the cub has survived and become a sub-adult. Hopefully, it learns to stand up for itself and shows its siblings that size and strength aren’t everything.

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